Explosions kill several in northeast Nigeria, witnesses say

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Explosions killed several people Thursday in northeastern Nigeria ahead of a visit by President Muhammadu Buhari to the restive region, witnesses said.

The attacks took place in Maiduguri, the city where Islamic militants first launched an insurgency against the government more than a decade ago.

Nigerian authorities did not release a casualty toll. Witnesses told The Associated Press that several civilians had died, including a teenage girl. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, suspicion fell on the Islamic State West Africa Province, also known as ISWAP.

Shortly after the explosions rattled the city, Buhari arrived to meet with the nation’s security heads and government officials in Borno.

Although Nigerian troops in the northeast have scored some gains against the rebels since the death of ISWAP leader Abu Musab al-Barnawi earlier this year, the group continues to infiltrate local communities and target security forces in ambushes.

In a statement Tuesday, the group claimed killing at least 20 members of a pro-Nigerian army militia in the town of Kilangar in Borno state.

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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